Chernobyl in the Ukraine became the site of the worldâ€™s most infamous nuclear disaster in the early hours of 26 April 1986. The explosion of the nuclear reactor devastated the lives of millions of people in Western Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine.
Fallout: The human cost of nuclear catastrophe is a powerful exhibition by award-winning Dutch photographer Robert Knoth which documents the toxic human legacy of Chernobyl and other nuclear accident sites of the former Soviet Union. Poignant portraits of people whose lives have been blighted by radiation exposure combine with haunting landscapes of deserted and contaminated villages and tender scenes of everyday life in the radioactive ruins.
In a heart-wrenching series of photographs from Belarus, little Annya Pesenko, known to the authorities simply as Certificate No 000358, is tended lovingly by her mother, Valentina. Annya was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 1994. At night her parents sleep on the floor next to her bed because Annya has to be turned every fifteen minutes to prevent bedsores. The girl needs help with everything.
Beautifully constructed images of children swimming and families picnicking by a lake conjur the relaxed and happy atmosphere of Sunday afternoons anywhere. But these pictures were taken in Narodichi, a small Ukrainian town just a few kilometres from the No-Go Zone-1. This town is in Zone-2, an area considered safe to visit but not to settle. The soil in and around Narodichi is contaminated but this doesnâ€™t stop people enjoying their leisure there.